Real Madrid need to win Sunday's late match at Osasuna to secure a 31st Spanish championship after second-placed Villarreal defeated Getafe 2-0.
Real would have retained their title without playing had Villarreal failed to win but a brace from Turkish international Nihat sunk Getafe and Real, seven points ahead, must now beat Osasuna to clinch the title.
Villarreal are on course for automatic Champions League qualification with third-placed Barcelona, who host Valencia later on Sunday, now lagging seven points behind.
Nihat scored both goals to take his season's tally to 17 as 'the Yellow Submarine' target a best ever league finish.
Sevilla closed to within three points of the final Champions League spot with a crucial 2-0 home win over Valladolid.
Atletico Madrid's win over Recreativo on Saturday put pressure on Sevilla and they responded with a first half brace from Brazilian striker Renato sealing the points.
Sevilla will struggle to hold onto key stars Daniel Alves, Christian Poulsen and Luis Fabiano this summer and Champions League football could be crucial to persuade them to stay.
Brazilian striker Fabiano has led the goalscoring charts for most of the season but Real Mallorca's Spanish international Daniel Guiza moved one ahead in the race for the Pichichi scoring a brace against Athletic Bilbao to take his tally to 24.
Racing are also in the Champions League frame after coming from two goals down to defeat Real Murcia 3-2 on Sunday.
Murcia's defeat means they join Levante in being relegated from the top-flight.
Racing were 2-0 down after just 27 minutes but scored three to turn the game on its head and move two points behind Atletico in fourth.
A mouthwatering tussle sees Racing host Sevilla on Wednesday in a decisive match for both sides.
Later on Sunday Barcelona, reeling from their Champions League semi-final defeat to Manchester United, must solve their goalscoring problem as they bid to close in on Villarreal with victory over Valencia.
Valencia are only two points from safety and need to take something at Camp Nou.
Osasuna dropped into the bottom three after Real Zaragoza's late 1-0 win at Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday and will hope to deny Real the title with victory in Pamplona.
If Real fail to defeat Osasuna they can seal the championship at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in 'El Classico' with foes Barcelona.
“I would prefer to win it as soon as possible,” said Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
“The fans probably don't mind us winning the title in Pamplona. We will try to win on Sunday. Our motto is 'the sooner, the better'.
“It doesn't matter where you win because it is always great to do so.”
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